Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: SURVEYING THE FIELD
Part One TECHNOLOGIES FOR LITERACY
1 Writing Is a Technology that Restructures Thought
WALTER J. ONG, S.J.
Claiming that writing transforms human consciousness, Ong discusses numerous consequences of writing, emphasizing the ways in which it separates the knower from what is known.
2 What’s in a List?
In this excerpt from The Domestication of the Savage Mind, Goody surveys ancient examples of lists to show how they constitute a technology of literacy that allows (and in fact encourages) history, the observational sciences, and classification schemes.
3 The Lost World of Colonial Handwriting
TAMARA PLAKINS THORNTON
Thornton, a historian, explores the ways in which handwriting in the American colonies served as a "medium of self," with different hands reserved for men and women, for those in different professions, and for those in various social stations.
4 From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies
Baron situates the computer in a series of communication technologies — including writing, the pencil, and the telephone — to argue that different technologies interact with literacy in often unexpected ways.
5 The Effect of Hypertext on Processes of Reading and Writing
Raising a cautionary voice about computer technology, Charney explores some ways in which the freedom that hypertext allows readers also makes it more difficult for them to make sense of texts, to extract information from them, and to register that information in long-term memory.
Part Two LITERACY, KNOWLEDGE, AND COGNITION
6 Writing and the Mind
DAVID R. OLSON
Opposing the traditional theory that writing developed out of a need to model speech, Olson argues that writing has instead functioned historically to provide humankind with a new way to think about language itself.
7 Unpackaging Literacy
SLYVIA SCRIBNER AND MICHAEL COLE
Drawn from a classic empirical study of literacy, the authors report on a West African people who use three writing systems, including one that is independent of formal education; the results suggest modest and specific, rather than profound and broad, effects of literacy on cognition.
8 Literacy and Individual Consciousness
F. NIYI AKINNASO
The author draws on his personal experience growing up in a nonliterate environment in Nigeria and on his Western academic training to provide a sense of the role literacy played in the religious, economic, and political life of his village and also the various effects it had on his own interpersonal relations, acquisition of knowledge, and sense of identity.
9 Lessons from Research with Language-Minority Children
LUIS C. MOLL AND NORMA GONZÀLEZ
With an eye toward influencing literacy assessment and pedagogical practice, the authors consider the effects that the common household’s "funds of knowledge" can have on the development of literacy if that knowledge is honored and if its relationship to literacy is fostered.
10 A New Framework for Understanding Cognition and Affect in Writing
JOHN R. HAYES
Hayes, a cognitive psychologist, attempts to model the complex mental processes involved in producing and revising written language.
11 Distributed Cognition at Work
PATRICK DIAS, AVIVA FREEDMAN, PETER MEDWAY, AND ANTHONY PARÈ
Through an examination of literacy practices in the Bank of Canada, the authors illustrate the ways that literacy can be distributed across a complex organization.
Part Three HISTORIES OF LITERACY IN THE UNITED STATES
12 The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Our Times
HARVEY J. GRAFF
Graff offers a general survey of literacy and education in nineteenth-century America, including literacy among minority and immigrant groups.
13 Misperspectives on Literacy: A Critique of an Anglocentric Bias in Histories of American Literacy
JAMIE CANDELARIA GREENE
The author provides a corrective to mainstream historical accounts of literacy by examining one of the earliest — and subsequently most overlooked — literacies in North America: literacy in Spanish during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Mexico, Central America, and the southern half of the present United States.
14 Religious Reading and Readers in Antebellum America
DAVID PAUL NORD
By focusing on reports of itinerant booksellers from Princeton Theological Seminary who distributed religious books and tracts to inhabitants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens in the 1840s, Nord illustrates how difficult it is to make simple generalizations about reading.
15 The Literate and the Literary: African Americans as Writers and Readers — 1830-1940
ELIZABETH MCHENRY AND SHIRLEY BRICE HEATH
The authors strive to balance the notion that African American language and literary habits are primarily rooted in oral traditions by exploring a range of African American literary societies and journals over the course of a century.
16 Kitchen Tables and Rented Rooms: The Extracurriculum of Composition
ANNE RUGGLES GERE
Gere examines literary clubs and books and magazines from colonial times on, illuminating the various ways in which writing instruction relates to questions of power, performance, and cultural work both in the classroom and in the "extracurriculum."
17 Gender, Advertising, and Mass-Circulation Magazines
HELEN DAMON-MOORE AND CARL F. KAESTLE
The authors trace the intersections between gender and the world of commerce in the articles and advertising that made magazines economically viable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Part Four LITERACY DEVELOPMENT
18 Theoretical Approaches to Reading Instruction
MARILYN JAGER ADAMS
With current educational policies in mind, Adams provides a historical overview of theories and methods of reading instruction and advocates a pedagogy that integrates several of those approaches.
19 The Development of Initial Literacy
An advocate of "whole language" literacy instruction, Goodman details the kinds of knowledge about literacy that young children acquire naturally from their environment.
20 Coach Bombay’s Kids Learn to Write: Children’s Appropriation of Media Material for School Literacy
ANNE HAAS DYSON
Relying on a sociocultural theoretical framework, this ethnographic study examines the ways that children appropriate figures and themes from popular media into school literacy events.
21 Learning to Read Biology: One Student’s Rhetorical Development in College
Haas examines the development of specialized literacy by tracking a biology major through her undergraduate years, detailing the changes in her understanding and use of texts as she becomes socialized into a scientific discipline.
22 Living Literacy: Rethinking Development in Adulthood
SUSAN S. LYTLE
Lytle suggests that stereotypes and common assumptions about adult learners who are not in the educational mainstream blind us to the knowledge they possess and the social networks they inhabit, and discourage close observation of the complex reading and writing processes they use.
23 A World Without Print
The author provides a sense of the lived experience of some people with low literacy skills through a study of an adult couple and the effects of their limited literacy on their children.
Part Five CULTURE AND COMMUNITY
24 The Ethnography of Literacy
JOHN F. SZWED
An anthropologist argues for the study of literacy as a social practice and offers a methodology for studying literacy in its everyday settings.
25 The New Literacy Studies
Street provides a scholarly agenda for literacy studies that stresses the importance of ethnography for studying the ways literacy practices are ideologically based.
26 Protean Shapes in Literacy Events: Ever-Shifting Oral and Literate Traditions
SHIRLEY BRICE HEATH
To complicate earlier categorizations of literacy and culture, Heath analyzes ethnographic research of the "literacy events" in two small southern U.S. communities to demonstrate the complex interplay of culture, orality, and literacy.
27 En Los Dos Idiomas: Literacy Practices Among Chicago Mexicanos
Farr explores the ways in which literacy is learned outside of school through social networks and used in religious, commercial, civic, and educational contexts.
28 Language and Literacy in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
TERESA L. MCCARTY AND LUCILLE J. WATAHOMIGIE
The authors discuss the difficulties involved in developing curricular materials to facilitate second language acquisition among Navajo schoolchildren, particularly because these materials must straddle overlapping and competing cultural value systems.
Part Six POWER, PRIVILEGE, AND DISCOURSE
29 Inventing the University
Bartholomae argues that students are pressured to adopt positions of authority from which to address academic audiences, but that their efforts reveal their mimicry of academic discourse more than their fluency in it.
30 Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction and What is Literacy?
JAMES PAUL GEE
Gee differentiates between primary discourse (acquired through home and community) and secondary discourse (learned in broader social contexts and institutions) and poses a theory about the relation of discourse, identity, and social-linguistic fluency.
31 The Politics of Teaching Literate Discourse
Qualifying Gee’s analysis, Delpit argues that linguistic acquisition is possible through classroom immersion in secondary discourse, yet also acknowledges how problematic the move between discursive communities has been for many African Americans.
32 Sponsors of Literacy
Brandt draws on literacy narratives gathered from over one hundred participants ranging in age from nine to ninety-nine to argue that becoming literate — both within and outside educational contexts — is dependent on a range of social, political, and economic forces.
33 Community Literacy
WAYNE CAMPBELL PECK, LINDA FLOWER, AND LORRAINE HIGGINS
The authors report on a service-learning project that enables college students and community teens to create a hybrid discourse in order to address local political and social issues.
Part Seven MOBILIZING LITERACY: WORK AND SOCIAL CHANGE
34 National Literacy Campaigns
ROBERT F. ARNOVE AND HARVEY J. GRAFF
The authors review a wide range of literacy campaigns over the past four hundred years, outlining key points in the development of literacy movements, including goals, materials, methods, and evaluation.
35 The Adult Literacy Process as Cultural Action for Freedom and Education and Conscientização
Often cited as a foundational view in critical pedagogy, Freire’s work also represents the empowering political potential of the literacy campaign, particularly as it developed in Brazil.
36 Women and Literacy: A Quest for Justice
Ramdas finds that literacy campaigners often hold problematic perceptions of women and argues that the perspectives and lived conditions of women must be included in program development.
37 Adult Literacy in America
IRWIN S. KIRSCH, ANN JUNGEBLUT, LYNN JENKINS, AND ANDREW KOLSTAD
The authors present a statistical analysis of the correlations among mass literacy, income, and profession in the United States, suggesting the potential impact of literacy campaigns and educational systems.
38 Hearing Other Voices: A Critical Assessment of Popular Views on Literacy and Work
Hull examines public discourse about literacy and the work force, pointing out that workplace literacy programs and the industry leaders who support them often have reductive perceptions of workers.
Notes and References
Notes on the Authors
Notes on the Editors